Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Easy (and healthy!) Broccoli Soup with toppings!

It got a little stormy this weekend. We had blue skies and warm weather Saturday and Sunday morning, but by Sunday afternoon there was rain and palm tree parts flying around outside. Palm tree parts are probably the worst part about storms here, they are pretty large and end up all over the place when it's windy.

We might have underestimated the weather when we went out for a walk on Sunday... (at this point Nathan was saying "stop taking pictures we need to get home!" and I was trying to figure out how to take pictures without getting rain inside my phone)

Palm trees weren't the only casualties, there were also a couple of trees that lost largish branches in the park by our house. Nathan was considering taking one home (about 12 feet long), 'cause it would be a cool trophy from our walk, but in the end we left it under the tree it fell out of. 

So basically to sum it all up, Sunday was a perfect soup day. We settled on a broccoli soup since we had a big Costco bag of florets in the fridge. This soup is super full of vegetabley goodness, and is super simple to make. We hope you enjoy it!


1 - onion diced
1 lb - broccoli
32 oz. - chicken stock
1 cup - water
1 tsp - garlic powder
red pepper flakes and salt to taste

Optional toppings:
bacon bits
sautéed mushrooms
cheddar cheese 
tabasco sauce

Get all your ingredients ready. For this soup I used a bag of ready cut broccoli florets. That made it super easy to prepare since I could just dump them into the pot. I kinda feel like that was cheating, but for some reason they were actually cheaper precut at Costco than whole at our Von's, so in the cart they went!

These bacon bits are pretty good, they are kind of like bacon and kind of like beef jerky. A friend left them at our house after a baked potato party and they worked really well on the soup.

Start by sauteing your onion in a little butter or oil until they cook down and get soft. Now just dump your broccoli on top. Throw in your seasoning and add your chicken broth and water.

Bring the whole thing to a simmer and cover with a lid. Cook for 10 minutes or until the broccoli gets tender.

While you're waiting for the broccoli to soften you can work on making some of the toppings. We bought a box of mushrooms at Costco so I decided to use those as one of the toppings. I started by selecting and washing 5 medium sized mushrooms. You can totally skip this step and make other toppings if you like. I think cheddar cheese would be good, we were out, but next time I make this I'm getting cheese.

and of course I took the picture before washing them... ewwww...

Wash them and slice them thinly.

Throw them in a pan with a bit of butter.

Now just poke them around a bit until they cook down and look like cooked mushrooms.

Ok! Now back to the soup! Your broccoli should be pretty soft now so we can start going after it with the immersion blender. There may be some broccoli sticking up out of the liquid try to smoosh it down as you blend (this is why the broccoli needs to be super soft). Also, be careful, immersion blenders can shoot hot soup at you when they are not fully immersed. If you are worried about this whole immersion blender/scalding hot soup thing you can always use a traditional blender instead, I was just feeling lazy.

smooshing broccoli with my immersion blender

partially blended

fully blended!

Now that you've blended everything check to make sure the soup is the consistency that you want. It might be a little on the thick side, if that is the case you can thin it a bit with some more chicken broth or water. If you are feeling daring you can thin it out with a cream to make a cream of broccoli soup. Serve it up hot and cover with your favorite toppings!

poor little bread bowl getting photographed on our wet balcony.

We ate ours with a loaf of sourdough bread from Boudins, and yes I reused my bread bowl from lunch... we're still students and I have this compulsion to always take my leftovers home. Maybe that's weird.. but I'm going to vote for frugal. :)

1. Saute diced onions in butter until soft
2. Add broccoli, spices, and chicken broth and bring to a low boil
3. Cover and let simmer for 10 min or until broccoli is very tender
4. Blend the soup adding more liquid (broth or water) to achieve desired thickness (add cream to make a cream of broccoli soup).
5. Serve up and cover in toppings!
6. Enjoy!

Get well soon!
Elizabeth and Nathan

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